Sunday, April 19, 2015

Strenghts vs Weaknesses

So, as a leader, what is your focus?

Do you conduct an annual review of your teams, and point out where they did great, and their areas of "opportunity"?
Is that "Area of Opportunity" your focus?

Who do you spend the majority of your time on?  Your TOP performers, or your problematic or weakest team members?

Conventional wisdom tells us to work on improving upon on our weaknesses.  So that would mean you should focus on your weaker team members... Sound right to you?

Here's my logic:

If we focus on weaknesses, endeavoring to improve upon what we're not good at, we take poor performance, and, in a perfect world, improve upon that to get it up to a mediocre level.  (We will never improve a weakness to a strength.)
So we go from weak to mediocre.

Is this how you manage your teams?

Thursday, February 26, 2015

Perspective gained

Well, it's been a long time since I've last blogged.  So much has happened.  It's been a very busy year (or so....).

I've been working more and more with different types of Leaders, and working hard to help new Leaders learn how they can be the best they can be.  It is becoming clearer to me that I am being called to do so.  This is what I do best.

I have always enjoyed the works of Marcus Buckingham, but for the first time, I'm actually implementing some of his programs at work.  I feel that his theories fit in perfectly with my beliefs.

Focus on your strengths.  Bring out what's best about people.  Spend your time on your top performers.  Immerse yourself in activities that work to your strengths.

It's all about looking toward the GOOD in us all.  What we do well, what we're best at.

I get that.

If we get better at what we do well, we'll become awesome.
If we focus on our weaknesses, and get those up to a passing level, we'll become mediocre.

I don't want a mediocre team.  I don't have a mediocre God.  I want more than mediocrity.

I want awesome.
I want to build my team up until they are awesome, and helping others become awesome.
I want my team to be contagious in it's awesomeness.

I talk about my team and I realize, that this is the perspective I have gained in the past year.  I am not made to be an independent worker.  I have been put here for a reason.  I am to help others discover and achieve their awesomeness.

But I am not to do it alone.  My team is what makes me awesome.
Like I said:  Perspective Gained!

Monday, October 7, 2013

Beliefs - Right or wrong?

How can I believe what I believe and tell others that what they believe is wrong?

When I was a young student of philosophy, my profs loved it when we started asking questions like this.  But once you get past the existential drama, and the multitude of schools of thought, from the pre-socratics to modern day self-exploration and whiny self-indulgence, you are still left with the question.  The question being:  If I am right, and if my rightness includes the fact that others are also right, then how can others be wrong?  Or am I wrong?  But that being the case, I am not, actually right.
It’s enough to make your head spin and to bring your lunch up…

Is it important to be right?  To me, it has always been my need.  I’ve always needed to know the “truth”; be in the know, etc…
I have always needed to be one of the “Inner Circle”.  Privy to the secrets…
But the more secrets I became privy to, the more I have come to realize, that the vast majority of those secrets are mere smokescreens.
“DO NOT LOOK AT THE MAN BEHIND THE CURTAINS”, is bellowed in the Wizard of Oz.
So, when you’ve seen behind the curtains, and you’ve been where Dorothy’s been, should you tell her?  Is she willing to hear what you have to say?
Probably not.
But it’s up to us to try anyway.
We have to try and help her.  No matter what.

So, I believe what I believe.  And what I believe is that I am required to help people no matter what/how/when.  I am also required to love them, and not judge them.  No matter what.
I am required to give, share, love, care and teach. 
I cannot judge.
It’s not easy.  I’m not that worthy.  I’m not that competent.
What I can do, easily, is love.  So, I guess I’ll start with that.  I will love.

Tuesday, May 14, 2013

Top 5 Keys to being true to your Values

I recently attended a Networking event for a Consulting group I belong to, and we were discussing the reason why we became consultants in the first place.  It was a great exercise for us to do as a group because it gave us a deeper appreciation that we're all essentially the same.
As one of the first to speak, I was the first to bring up the fact that as Consultants, we're more able to remain true to our values than if we were working for someone else.  When employed, it can be very difficult to say to your boss:  "I'm sorry, I won't do that.  It's against my values."  Most would agree that it's a pretty sure-fire way of getting on the boss' bad side.  

So, what do you do?  You have to work; you don't have the calling to be self-employed.  (And believe me; it's not for the faint at heart!!!)  How do you remain true to your values?

First, Lets look at the top five keys to being true to your values:
Image:  Courtesy iStock

1.  What ARE your values?
Before saying that you can be true to your values you have to take the time to identify them.  Take some time for yourself, and write them down.  What is important to you might not be what’s important for others, so focus on yourself.  If necessary, hire a life-coach or another professional expert to help you identify them.

2   Why are they your values?
Do you sincerely feel strongly about them?  Or are they simply the values you were raised with?  Many of us were raised in a different faith than we practice today, and we still carry around with us our upbringing.  Do you list a value simply because your parents value it?  Or your Church?  Or your spouse?  These are hard questions to ask.  But the answers and the clarity they provide go a long way.

3.  What are you prepared to give up for your values?
Would you be willing to break a friendship?  Quit a job?  Confront a colleague, a boss?  What about your faith, are you ready to re-evaluate what you’ve been saying you believe?  When we define our values, in a sincere and honest manner, many people find themselves perplexed by the fact that they need to re-assess many aspects of their lives.  Whether it means making changes in your social activities, or being more honest with yourself regarding your beliefs and faith, being true to your values will, without a doubt change you.  But set aside the fear of change, it is always a change for the better.

4.  What allies do you have around you that share your values?
Look around?  Are you fortunate enough that you have people around with the same values as you do?  Does your spouse share them?  What about co-workers?  Family members?  The more you surround yourself with those who share your values, the less likely you will be forced to make unpleasant choices.  There is definitely strength in numbers. 

5.  How do you communicate your values to those around you?
We have all been exposed to extremists of all sorts.  Think about how it felt to have someone tell you that what you believed was wrong and that they knew better.  Not a pleasant time, was it?  What about when you see the results of Fundamentalism in the news?  Excess in ALL its forms is unhealthy.  As a Christian, I believe in the Word.  But I don’t beat people in the head with my Bible.  It’s important to make an effort to dialogue openly with the people around you.  Be open to different ideas and opinions and share yours in a positive manner.  Don’t close your mind.  You’ll only find darkness.

Have you taken the time to do this exercise?  What did it bring you, how has it affected you? 

Feel free to share your thoughts and ideas.  I’d love to know what your opinions are!

Until next time! 

Friday, April 12, 2013


  • “I can’t do that, I tried and failed.”
  • "I've been downsized or demoted.  I'm such a failure."
  • “There’s no way I could recover from such a failure.”
  • “My marriage failed, I’ll never be happy.”
  • “Instead of working out today, I had a hamburger, I’m such a failure!”

What would you say if a good friend said these things to you?  If you’re like me, you’d probably want to give them a swift kick in the behind and tell them that they’re better than that!
But how often have you found yourself saying or feeling similar feelings?

We fear failure.  It stings, true.  But what would we achieve if we never faced that fear?  Would we be able to walk?  Talk? Do anything? 

Think about a baby taking his first steps.  He holds onto his parent’s hands and clumsily tries to manoeuvre that leg forward, then the next, then he lets go.  And falls.  Imagine if the baby decided then and there:  “Well, so much for that, I tried the whole walking thing and failed.  I guess walking just isn't for me.”

But no, that baby hasn't yet learned that kind of negative attitude, we haven’t taught him yet.  He just gives out a little cry to see if it’ll generate some attention, and then tries again, and falls, again, and again, and again.  Next thing you know the little bugger’s running around the house and has climbed on top of the fridge.  Something he had no idea that even existed, let alone be able to achieve.

We have infinite potential.  We are only limited by our own fears and insecurities.  Yes, it is true that we all have our limitations and we must take those into consideration.  But never allow them to convince you that you cannot achieve your dreams.  No one would ever expect a one-legged man to run across the country, but Terry Fox proved them all wrong.

If you take a moment and think about it, there are miracles all around us.  There are people who are overcoming tremendous obstacles to achieve their goals. 

What is their secret? Faith, pure and simple, faith. 

Faith in what they believe in, faith in themselves, and faith in their support teams.
They truly believe that they can, and added to that, there is an absence of negative self talk, rather there is a positive attitude.

Let’s revise our statements from above, but from the perspective of someone with such a positive mind-set:
  • “I may have failed last time, but I learned from it, and this time’s different!”
  • "I've been downsized or demoted. Here's my chance to start something new!"
  • “There’s no way I’m going to let such a failure stop me!”
  • “My marriage failed, but I've learned so much about myself and what I want out of life.  I know that one day, I’ll be happy.”
  • “Instead of working out today, I had a hamburger.  Boy, was it good!  Tomorrow, I’ll work out and skip the burger.  I won’t let myself fall into a rut.”

I know.  I know.  When you’re in the situation, and the emotions are overflowing, it’s really, REALLY hard to keep up a positive attitude.  But the more often you do something, the easier it gets, and soon it becomes a habit.

Make a habit of overcoming your limitations.  Make a habit of being positive.  Make a habit of winning!

Have you ever done something and said afterwards:  “WOW! I had no idea I could do that!”  That’s because you didn't convince yourself that you can’t.  Share your story in the comments below, we’d love to hear them!

Wednesday, March 27, 2013

The Wonder Woman Syndrome

I was over at a very good friend’s house this week and we were talking about Women’s ministries.  Sadly, at our church, there are none.  Most of the women there just support each other as best they can. 

It’s clear that women need the fellowship of other women.  This is proven by the popularity of Sororities, of Women’s groups, Fraternal Organizations like the Daughters of the Nile, the Daughters of Isabella, Girl Scouts and many others.  (Men have the same need too, by the way, which is why they have their own.)  Sometimes we just need to be in the company of our own gender.  It doesn’t mean that we’re keeping secrets or hiding things from our spouses.  It just means that we are comforted to know that others are like us, that we are all facing the same challenges. 

Over the next little while, let’s talk about some of those challenges that many women face.

First off:  We try to be/do everything for everyone.

Copyright © 2009 DC Comics, Inc. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.
The Wonder Woman Syndrome.

Have you ever felt angry at yourself for not having a perfect house, a perfect family, a perfect job, a perfect body and a perfect social life?  Do you suffer from Wonder Woman syndrome?

How much of the following can you identify with?
  • Our lives are ruled by our Agenda or DayTimer?
  • We demand more of ourselves than we do of anyone else around us.  We try to be everything for everyone. 
  • We feel that our home should be impeccably clean and fashionably decorated; mostly with things we’ve crafted/created ourselves.
  • We expect to be able to take our kids to all their extra-curricular activities, be involved and still get everything else done.
  • The reflection in the mirror makes us seriously consider getting up at 5am or earlier to go workout an extra hour or two.
  • We spend a fortune on skin care products to hide the fact that we don’t get enough rest.
  • We are driven with the need to get a raise, better job, make more money.
  • We try to take care of our kids, our spouse, our parents and our friends all at the same time.
  • We worry if we volunteer enough.
  • Anytime anyone asks us to help with a bake sale, Fundraiser, or such, we can never say no.
  • It’s midnight, and we’re in the kitchen cooking because we can’t show up at the potluck empty-handed
  • Being double or triple-booked is normal.
  • Weekend?  What weekend?
What do you mean I’m not Wonder Woman?

Anyone who knows me well will tell you that I can rock a pair of killer red boots like nobody’s business!

But Linda Carter can keep the Wonder Woman boots.

What happens when we try to be Wonder Woman?  We get burnt out, we drop the ball and we miss out important events.  We disappoint our loved ones and ourselves.  The more we try to take upon ourselves, the greater the chances we will drop something.

The greatest challenge women face today is learning to prioritize.  We need to learn to differentiate between what matters and what doesn’t.  But no one can tell you what matters and what doesn’t.  It’s a very personal thing.
For one person, letting the dust gather on the knickknacks for another week is perfectly acceptable, if it means being able to go out and run every day.
For another, having a spotless house is essential, because it’s always filled with family and friends.
We have to remember, and remind each other, that we are allowed to say NO!  That it’s ok not to participate in everything.  Nobody’s perfect. 

What we need to learn to do is to choose the things we’re ready to let drop, and to hold on to what really matters to us.

Do you identify with the Wonder Woman Syndrome?  Tell us about it.  
What have you done to try to keep afloat?  Do you have any additions to make to the list above?

Friday, March 22, 2013


Let me tell you about a good friend of mine.  We'll call her Kay.  She will recognize herself in this post, as will anyone who knows her.
Kay is an old friend of mine.  We've known each other for many (many) years. I consider her a good friend.  It's interesting to note that Kay and I do not share the same faith.  In fact, we are pretty opposite in that aspect.  We've had times where we totally agreed with each other, and times where we couldn't disagree more.   And disagree we HAVE!  On more topics than I care to count.

That is something I admire about her; she is not afraid of speaking her mind.

Now, in Kay's case, when she speaks her mind, or when she makes a statement, you can count on the fact that she's done her research, and she's thought it out, and it's not just whimsy.  It's a documented fact, according to her perception.  I MORE than respect that.

You know, when dealing with Kay, that you will get the straight story, no BS, no white gloves and brutal facts.  Just the facts, ma'am!  She doesn't pussyfoot around, nor does she mince words.


How many people do we know who will spew opinions and quote garbage facts just to further their own opinion?  How many people formulate opinions based on Facebook status updates and posts?
The internet is overflowing with disinformation, falsehoods and lies.  Our Political System is dependent upon such deceptions.

Can you count how many people you could call Authentic?  Not too many, I bet.  Sincerity, truthfulness and authenticity are rare virtues in today's day and age.

Let's hold up a mirror.  Let's look at ourselves.  Would OUR friends call us Authentic?  Sincere?  Truthful?

Wow, that's the hard part.

Personally, I strive to be Authentic, sincere and truthful.  I can't honestly say that I'm always 100% successful but I make an effort.  I hope that I'll get there one day.

What about the people around us?

Care to share with us someone you feel is a truly Authentic person?  Go ahead an post in the comments, we'd love to hear about Authentic people.  (Doesn't have to be a woman, btw)

I can't wait to see what you'll post!

Monday, March 18, 2013

What is success?

Everyone wants to be successful.  But what does that mean?  

Does it mean that you have to have the Billion-dollar Mansion with the 7-car garage filled with Maseratis, Ferraris and Lamborginis? 
Maybe you’re not in the mood for Italian, so you go for the Porsche, the Rolls or the Aston-Martin.
What? You don’t care about luxury cars and big houses?  Does this mean you’re not successful?

What is success?
For many, many years, the image above was on my wall.  This is what I was striving for.  This was my goal.  Boy was I mistaken.
Today, I have a modest little home.  But let me tell you, I couldn't be happier if I was in a multi-million dollar home.  It’s the happiest place I know.  I have never felt happier anywhere, I have never had more moments of pure delight than I do in this place.
Cars?  Well, we are blessed to be a 2-car household.  My Spouse is a “car guy”, and having a brand new car made him happy.  Me, I’m happy with my much older, reliable, 4-door sedan. 
So, I don’t have a mansion, or a Delorean (which was my dream when I first purchased the poster above.  Perhaps too much Back To the Future...)
Does this mean I have not yet achieved success?

According to Merriam-Webster:
Definition of SUCCESS:   suc·cess  noun \sək-ˈses\
1  obsolete : outcome, result
2  a : degree or measure of succeeding (To attain a desired end)
b : favorable or desired outcome; also : the attainment of wealth, favor, or eminence

So, I take this to mean that success is a desired outcome, which relates back to wealth, favor or popularity.  Right?
For me, being successful means something completely different.  I’ll share that in the next entry. 

What does success mean to you?  Share your thoughts in the comments.

I look forward to reading your thoughts!

Welcome and introduction

Hello Leaders,

Welcome to the first post on this Blog about Values-Based Leadership for Women.  This is a topic that has fascinated me for a very long time.  How can we balance leadership and success with strong values, convictions and Faith?
Is it possible?
Of course!  We are capable of more than we think.  There are many of us who have an unfortunate tendency to undervalue ourselves.  We feel that we have to "settle".  This is not true.  There are many examples of women who have achieved success without compromising what they believe in.  I won't get into them right now, but perhaps in a later post we can explore the topic of Inspirational Women.
You've surely noticed by now that I mention Faith, and that my profile shows that I am a Christian.  That is my true belief.  I have not always followed that path, but I do now.  However, if your beliefs are different, that's fine.  Your own Values and Faith belong to you.  What I aim to do here, is to show how you can still be a successful Leader while remaining true to what is important to YOU.  (Not what's important to ME!)

It is true that our world is one filled with corruption, crime, deceit, lies and cheating.  An accountant once told me that it was "necessary" to cheat on your taxes, otherwise you lose money.  Wow.  That blew me away.
It is also true that our world is filled with honesty, integrity, beauty, love, compassion, truth and sincerity.  But it just doesn't make for good headline news, so we are rarely exposed to those things. 

It's up to us to choose.  What will we focus upon?

It's not easy when you're trying to "Get Ahead" and you wish to remain true to your values.  Whether you're climbing the corporate ladder, or just trying to achieve something modest, you will face some pretty difficult decisions.  You will make mistakes.  You will need advice, support and inspiration.

I hope that this site will help.  I welcome your comments.  I would be delighted if you would share the challenges you face.  Perhaps, as a community, we can all become better equipped to overcome them.

Have a terrific day!